The future is now!

Sunrise photo

  Or, perhaps more accurately, the future was then. I try to avoid blogging about politics on the Sabbath. Pretty successfully, too. But I simply have to record how thrilled and excited I am about today's political news. Building on current successes; leaving behind the old, tired facts of yesterday; marching boldly, under a brand new leader, into the future! Zzzzzzzzz. Let the coronation … [Read more...]

“Religion poisons everything” (1)

Chartres south rose window

 Christopher Hitchens famously and repeatedly claimed that "religion poisons everything." His claim was and is false beyond any reasonable dispute. Here, for example, is one of the stained glass windows from the magnificent Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Chartres in France (the Basilique Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres). Religion didn't poison this marvelous piece of art.  Religious faith created it:    … [Read more...]

New Testament 126

Dicksee, "Christ of the Cornfield"

  Mark 4:26-29 The growth of the Kingdom of God goes largely unnoticed, and its importance almost completely unrecognized. It grows quietly and matures slowly. Come harvest time, though, and the significance of the Church and the Restoration will be unambiguously apparent.   … [Read more...]

Do good works earn us entrance to heaven?

D. F. Uchtdorf, from General Conference

  Who out there wasn't absolutely astonished to hear an airplane/airline metaphor from a man who, prior to his call to serve as a General Authority of the Church, was Chief Pilot and Senior Vice President for Flight Operations at Lufthansa German Airlines?   … [Read more...]

Elder Nelson and the study of biology at BYU


  This past week, Elder Russell M. Nelson, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, dedicated the new Life Sciences Building at Brigham Young University.     … [Read more...]

What does Christianity value?

Monument at Flossenbürg to Bonhoeffer, et al.

  The German Lutheran pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer was hanged by the Nazis seventy years ago last Thursday, in the Flossenbürg concentration camp.  He was just thirty-nine years old. KZ-Flossenbürg was liberated by the United States Army two weeks later, on 23 April 1945. Pastor Bonhoeffer's writings continue to resonate around the Christian world.  (He was even quoted in General Conference a week ago.)  Here's one representative quotat … [Read more...]

BYU wins “best delegation” award at Model United Nations competition in New York City

BYU's Model UN delegation 2015 (the women)

 For the eleventh year in a row.  And, as I believe I've already mentioned here, BYU's Model Arab League team -- featuring all three of my current teaching assistants and at least one other of my current students -- took the regional competition in Denver a couple of weeks ago: That team is back in Washington DC this weekend, competing in the … [Read more...]

New Testament 125

A candle flame

  Mark 4:21-25Luke 8:16-18Compare Matthew 5:15; 7:2; 10:26; 13:12 At least three quite distinct thoughts are contained in these verses: 1.  Our light should be shown to the world.  Or, rather, his light should be manifest in the world through and by us.  There's no point in kindling a lamp and then covering it so that it's not visible. 2.  All secret acts will eventually be made known.  So, if we presume that we can get away wit … [Read more...]